Simplified Declaration Procedure


Simplified Declaration Procedures (SDP) is the new name for Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP). They are in place to help you reduce the cost and administration of customs declarations. You can expect the following benefits:

  • Improved cash flow
  • Reduced reporting
  • Improved clearance times
  • Greater control over tax points and accounting periods
  • Flexible timing for electronic declarations

SDP are customs procedures that are intended to accelerate the release of imported goods by simplifying the border clearance procedure.

Under SDP you submit a minimum amount of data (a simplified declaration) to HMRC at the border. This releases the goods into the UK.

HMRC still needs the full declaration information so, the ‘data gap’ between a full declaration and your simplified declaration will need to be bridged. This happens at a later date, in the form of a supplementary declaration. You must get supplementary declarations into HMRC by the 4th working day of the month following your simplified declaration.

You can also combine data on supplementary declarations using Aggregation.  (This process, needs to be applied for when completing the application for SDP).


You are by no means obliged to make use of SDP; it is not mandatory. However, it does present several business benefits that render it an attractive option, including:

  • Faster release of your imported third-country goods
  • Quicker clearance of authorisation checks (e.g. anti-smuggling checks)
  • Cash flow benefits, because duty and import VAT don’t need to be paid until the submission of the supplementary declaration
  • SDP authorisation can be used in conjunction with normal entry and warehouse procedures, to suit your own business needs
  • Increased operational efficiency, as the whole process can be performed electronically
Customs Clearances

SDP allows you to enter your imported goods into the customs procedure without needing to provide the complete customs declaration at the point of release. You must have the necessary authorisation to make a simplified frontier declaration. If you do make a simplified frontier declaration, HMRC requires you to provide the missing information in a supplementary declaration by the end of the month.

SDP permits you to release goods to a range of customs procedures, including:

  • Free circulation
  • Customs warehousing
  • Inward processing
  • Outward processing
  • Authorised Use
  • Temporary admission
  • Export
  • Re-export

(to use the above under SDP you must have Full Authorisation for each of the procedures, SDP cannot be used if goods are entered into a special procedure using Authorisation by Declaration (ABD))


We’ve found that failing to make a simplified frontier declaration is one of a few mistakes often made by importers.

Entry in the Declarant’s Records (EIDR)

EIDR means you can enter your goods into customs without a complete declaration. This used to be known as Local Clearance Procedure (LCP). Under this system, you declare goods by entering them into your own records. It works similarly to SDP, except there are some procedures it cannot be used to enter goods into, including:

  • Temporary storage
  • Onward Supply Relief
  • Transit
  • Any procedure requiring an INF form
  • Low-value import procedures
  • Pre-departure declarations


Like SDP, EIDR is a two-step declaration process, with the initial declaration to be followed by a final supplementary declaration within one month. For goods entered into a customs warehouse, supplementary declarations are not needed, although you must still have a way of collecting trade statistics.

What Kinds of Goods Does SDP Prohibit?

Most imported third-country goods are eligible for a simplified declaration. However, it’s always good practice to check whether you need to declare goods, as this may affect their SDP authorisation.

There are some controlled and other goods, which are not permissible under SDP. These include:

  • Hydrocarbon oils
  • ATA carnet goods
  • Goods removed from a customs warehouse that are exported
  • Goods imported from or originating in North Korea
  • Agricultural Policy Goods
  • Excise Goods
  • Unmanufactured Tobacco
  • Personal Effects


Worth noting too that some CPCs (Customs Procedures Codes) are subject to exceptions and also not eligible for SDP and if you are acting as an Indirect Customs agent you cannot use Inward / Outward Processing, End Use / Authorised Use, Temporary Admission and Private Customs Warehouse)


If you wish to apply for SDP, VARTAN can help support you through the process.

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